The European Commissioner charged with forging high cross-border standards in financial reporting has likened published accounts to ‘bikinis: much more interesting for what they conceal than for what they reveal – regardless of more exacting accounting standards’.
Ireland’s European Union (EU) internal market commissioner Charlie McCreevy told a Chartered Institute of Management Accountants’ qualification-conferring ceremony in Dublin, that accountants should better rely on commercial horse sense.
He said: ‘tougher regulations and laws may help stamp out false accounting. But creative accounting will always be with us – even if recent developments in international accounting standard-setting makes it more challenging.
‘That’s why the task of the non-executive director, of the fund manager, of the banker, of the supplier, or of any other interested party in a company’s underlying financial health, is to ask the many questions that the published accounts don’t answer’.
McCreevy, who has promised not to deluge business with new EU regulations, said: ‘the view that more frequent reporting by companies increases transparency is one about which I am deeply sceptical. It is too easy to massage a set of quarterly or half-yearly figures’.
Skimping on investment could boost profits in one period, but lessen them the next, through reduced customer service quality and loyalty, he said.
UK senior partner Phil Verity has been elected for a second term at Mazars
An audit partner has been appointed at Grant Thornton in its North West offices
KPMG has been appointed with “immediate” effect as the auditor of Dorcaster
The audit for Ibstock will be taken over by Deloitte following a competitive tender process